Monday, August 02, 2010

Otakon 2010 Impressions

Well, Otakon is now over for the year and it's time for final impressions- which makes me happy that I actually have some. I mean, it's kind of pointless to have nothing to say at the end of a con beyond "Yeah, that was a good convention."

Basically, I came away from Otakon with the impression that love for Sailor Moon really is alive and well in North America. Even though current shows like K-ON! grabbed a lot of the spotlight, tons of vendors had Sailor Moon products on display. I saw t-shirts, mugs, custom handbags, pencil cases, stationary, artbooks, and so on, and *cough* I succumbed to the temptation to buy more than just a few of those things. One might think that seeing a lot of merch at a con isn't indicative of anything since cons are exactly where you'd expect to find that stuff, however, not every series gets representation in the dealer's room; plenty of series much newer than Sailor Moon were hard to find in any form.

I also heard several people say things to the effect of "It's a shame they don't have any Sailor Moon [fill in name of a collectible]" at times. One attendee proudly snatched up a SuperS pencil board from under my nose, commenting "I got the last one!"

As you may have already surmised if you read the cosplay post, cosplayers were out in full force; sure, I saw way more people dressed up as ninja from Naruto or Death Gods from Bleach (and don't get me started on the Vocaloids) than Sailor Senshi, but those are currently airing series; Sailor Moon had a great representation for a show that's been off the air in North America for so long.

At the Artist's Alley, a healthy percentage of the artists present had an image of an SM character displayed at the front of their booth- usually Sailor Moon herself, but often team shots as well. I also saw several pieces depicting Neo-Queen Serenity at the Art Auction that had bids.

The World of Sailor Moon panel had great attendance, and enthusiastic participants. The Sailor Moon Hentai panel actually had even better attendance, with every seat taken. However, I confess I ditched that panel halfway through; not because the content of the panel bothered me, but because of the attitude of the attendees. Really people, just because you're watching something with sexual content is no reason to suddenly start acting like a twelve-year-old. Nevertheless, that aspect of the fandom is there, and it's certainly a component of the franchise's staying power. I may not want to watch it (or deal with the attitude of some of the fans who do), but I can appreciate the fact that interest in the pornographic incarnations is an outgrowth of continued interest in the series.

What all this means is, any company that's paying attention to what's going on in fandom has to know that Sailor Moon is potentially very profitable. Not only are there a lot of Sailor Moon fans, but the timing is such that many of the people who grew up watching Sailor Moon are now at the age where they have plenty of disposable income (relatively speaking; there is the economy to consider.) Critically, people around me were complaining that there wasn't enough Sailor Moon stuff to buy. I'm not an expert on anime licensing, but I'm pretty sure that people wanting to buy more stuff is indicative of potential licensing success. In a marketplace where companies often struggle to convince fans to buy anything at all, due to a mistaken sense of entitlement brought on by the era of digisubs, this is a series where people cannot buy enough.

Waiting any longer to license Sailor Moon is like missing out on a license to print money, and it's the best kind of license; it's the one where the fans feel grateful to finally be able to spend their money on something they love, leading to goodwill towards the company in addition to profits. I'm glad that I can say that Sailor Moon should be licensed and re-released not just because I would love it personally, but because it's honestly the sensible thing to do.

Oh, and look at all this cool stuff I got!

I love conventions: In the name of the Moon, I will go to NYAF and buy more stuff.

9 comments:

Senshi said...

Where did you find that Chibi Chibi item?! While I was in the dealers room I practicaly asked everyone if they had any Sailor Moon items. I've only seen a few of them that did have Sailor Moon items. There was $1,000 Sailor Moon Artbook, the infinity. That was crazy and it was never bought. (I was in the dealers room until it closed)

Its like a quest for me to find Sailor Moon stuff and I'm glad I can find atleast one thing to buy. I hope to see you at NYAF, I'll be there also. ^-^

luigireda said...

Yeah, Sailor Moon is pretty much a guaranteed seller, probably almost as much as DBZ. It will indeed print money...

The indications I get from this blog seem to make me think someone's listening out there... which is nice.

I hope we hear something soon, I'm ready and very eager to buy the series!

xXPrettyNekoXx said...

I got me a Dark Lady holding the crystal fanart, the same mug, chibi serenity keychain, sm stickers and lunchbox. I saw the pencil box too, like 6 of them but I was confused of what it was, so I didn't buy it. The same booth even had a SM puzzle but the box looked beat up while the plastic wasn't. I was scared not all the pieces were inside. This Otakon year, there was LOTS of SM stuff. Normally only one or two booths has SM items. The SM panel at Otakon has always been filled- 2006, 2008, and 2009.

KarenLeslie said...

Hey Senshi, I found it at a vendor selling anime cels- they had lots of little odds and ends from various series, like stationary and bookmarks. It was total luck that I found it though- the best stuff is always buried in a bin somewhere, never front and center -___-

@luigireda: ME TOO!!

smarrone said...

Ooh! I wanted that Sailor Moon standee so much! That vendor had alot of good stuff, but too expensive for me. *sniff*

Had a great time at the panels!

Keely Valentine said...

soo muchh wanttt!!

DJTomoe said...

Who's the artist for the artwork on the far left? It's such a gorgeous pic!

TheMisanthrope said...

OMG. Im going to be at NYAF all three days. Keep an eye out for a Sailor Mars - cuz that will be me :)

ochibawolf said...

I'll definitely be buying 3 of each item made(if they ever decided to market here in USA again). So they know they got my money!! xDD